There are times when I am amazed by how lucky I am to work for such a great company. I have just had the most uplifting, inspiring, challenging and rewarding week. This may sound somewhat over the top but there are times when I get to be involved in the most incredible things just because of my job.
“BizAcademy is a week long program of strategic change for young adults from under-resourced communities developing the leadership, business skills and confidence necessary for career paths and employment”
- train them on who salesforce.com is, what we do and how we do it
- have them consider a potential customer with challenges
- finally we have them build a full presentation that culminates in a pitch to the “Dragons Den” with 7 senior business people reviewing and judging their work
They are paired up with a mentor from our business along with various other staff supporting them (upwards of 90 people give their time voluntarily from both inside and outside the business). Then every day they grow and grow and grow. To quote Daft Punk (who were a big favourite during the week) they manage to go Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger over and over again.
At the start of the week the students are all in similar straights in that they lack confidence, have struggled with finding work, struggled to be heard for who they are and what they can offer, struggled to go forward and face the world on equal terms. At the end of it all we get together to celebrate the experience and share so many moments, a few tears (Ok mostly by me) and be amazed at just how far they have come and hopefully send them on their way to getting work and having the confidence to take risks and embrace life.
What really makes me smile is not what we teach them rather it is what we take away from the experience. The indomitable spirit, the incredible humour, the joie de vivre they display in the face of everything astounds me. Watching them embrace the challenge and rise to meet everything is an experience that changes me every year and makes me so grateful to have shared this time with them.
If you work for a business that would like to try something similar we are hoping to share this amazing program with others so feel free to reach out. You might not be able to do it for 12 students maybe it would only be 1 or 2 but I can guarantee you will be changed in ways you had never thought possible.
One thing I will leave you with. At the start of the week we do a creative exercise to get to know each other and we found a key message from this activity. If you put your pedal to the metal you can do anything so always remember that:
LIFE BEGINS AT 300K/PH